Election parody in Azerbaijan (February 7)

Scholz should not let Aliyev show him up

Today, Monday, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) sent a letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, demanding him to finally put Azerbaijan’s dictator Ilham Aliyev in his place. ”Aliyev will have himself re-elected as President on February 7, and he is staging a farce for his own citizens and the entire international community. What is going on in Azerbaijan can’t be called an election, not even with a wink,” criticized Sarah Reinke, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in Göttingen today. “Ever since Azerbaijan brought Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) under its control by brute force in September 2023, Aliyev has become increasingly bold. He is displaying an even more brazen attitude towards the international community. The Chancellor should not leave this without a response.”  

Aliyev is using the peace process under EU mediation to make increasingly brazen demands on Armenia and to reverse the truth. On February 1, he thus demanded Armenia to change its constitution, as the territorial claim to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is still stipulated there. Another claim was that Armenia was posing a threat to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “Actually, however, the situation is exactly the opposite: Azerbaijan has brought Nagorno-Karabakh – which is predominantly inhabited by Armenians – under its control, expelling 100,000 Armenians,” Reinke clarified. “The Aliyev regime shamelessly exploits the fact that Europe is dependent on energy partners. It bribes and coerces politicians, and it is using millions of EU funds to equip the torture chambers in its prisons.”

The victims of this policy are opponents of the regime, journalists, and democrats in Azerbaijan – and especially the people who were driven out of Nagorno-Karabakh. Chancellor Scholz should advocate for their right to return. However, before this is possible, special regulations will have to be adopted: “The displaced persons must be allowed to visit Nagorno-Karabakh regularly, unbureaucratically, and with security guarantees in order to maintain their property and visit Armenian cemeteries,” Reinke demanded. “Azerbaijan is also responsible for protecting the property of the Artsakh-Armenians against vandalism or theft.” Further, Azerbaijan must release all the illegally detained Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. The trials against them are unfounded, as well as the ongoing imprisonment. Clearly, the prisoners were tortured while in detention.